On opening the AFV Club box you are greeted to a mountain of dark green plastic. I love opening a new model and inspecting the frames, trying to recognise particular parts. Dig a little deeper and we find a very nice spring-loaded aluminium barrel and an innovative rubber suspension system for the wheel runners, A small sheets of decals and some spare tracks. Where’s the photo etch though?
On the whole the kit is well made. The casting is fairly good, with only very fine mould seams to take care of. This kit has many small and fragile parts, which are sometimes a worry when working with older models because of how brittle they can be. The styrene plastic used for this model though is fantastic and ensures you can clean the parts confidently. Handling the parts on the other hand can be a nightmare! I must have lost four bolt heads in a row, blasting expletives into the air. The instructions are clear and well presented apart from a few printing errors in the form of part numbers. You can appreciate how hard it is to find part A37, when part A37 is actually A28!
Building the kit
This is my first armour model and probably only noticed because I was sticking to the instruction like glue. Constructing the M36 Jackson was really enjoyable. It went together by the book and was a fantastic introduction to the AFV category for me. There were no major fitting problems apart from the Drivers turret hatches. I wanted them to open and close effectively, but had to build up the gluing surface with some 0.75mm plastic card. AFV Club went to the trouble of making this a feature of the kit, so to cast it in such an inaccurate way is puzzling.
Now for a confession, see if you can spot the mistake in the turret section of the model. I would love to blame this on the parts numbering or poor instructions, but to be honest I feel it was my own error. I will say no more. The recoil action on the barrel works though, which is a feature I really like and building the gun mechanism was relatively straight forward, if a little fiddly. The moulding and the detail were amazing and with the addition of a few wires, the turret section turned out really well. A lot of detail is contained within it and the real detail obsessive out there will really appreciate it.
painting the model
I was really looking forward to painting this project as this is my first tank build, so armed with a set of Tamiya acrylics and some Mig Pigments I went to work. After all of the major construction was completed I applied a coat of Citadel Skull White as an undercoat. I love the finish you get with this product. It leaves a perfectly flat and smooth finish which is great to work on. Onto that went a base coat of Tamiya XF-62 Olive Drab. This was the only colour I could find reference to and the only paint scheme that AFV Club gave in their booklet. They do give you three options for decals, though they are quite similar. I’ll let AFV Club off on this one because I don’t think many versions were produced.
Next I applied a wash of Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown. I usually use oil paints for colour washes, but since I messed up on the gun construction I thought I’d try something new. This gave a good finish, if a little darker than I’d have hoped for. The wooden tools on the rear of the tank posed a problem I was keen to overcome. The metal parts I was ok with, I simply painted them in Tamiya Flat Black and then dry brushed Titanium silver. The wooden handles on the other hand were a new venture. I first painted them in Tamiya XF-57 Buff followed by an oil wash of Burnt Sienna. Once all that is fully dry a light brushing of yellow finishes it off nicely. I know there are lots of methods out there, but this is one I have developed and feel comfortable with. I’m not sure this method would work on larger areas of wood, but for handles I think it looks quite good. See what you think.
To achieve the streaking effect on the panels of the vehicle, I dotted Humbrol enamels randomly along the surface. Two or three colours of your choice, I used 73, 63 and 250, but use you imagination and don‘t be afraid to experiment. Then with a clean brush dampened with white spirit, blend the enamels in using an up – down motion. Clean your brush and repeat until you are happy with the effect. You can afford to be quite bold with the application because enamels dry a lot slower than acrylics and you can always wipe the area clean with thinners and start again. Pigments are the last job on the list. I like to mix Pigment colours to vary the appearance. I use the pigments dry and with water. Using them dry give a nice dusty effect that collects in the corners and panel lines. Adding water to the pigments can produce a wet appearance which when combined with the dry pigment can produce a really satisfying effect. Another good technique is to flick small amounts of watered down brown acrylic onto the surface with an old toothbrush. Again it looks good if you apply a darker shade then a lighter one to vary the tones.
This is a great kit with lots of potential. The M36 paint scheme gives the builder lots of opportunity to expand their finishing techniques. With this being my first Armour project I learnt a lot about the use of pigments and gained some confidence painting wooden handled tools. The kit also comes with a few spares of the more fragile parts, which I have to say I needed. I would recommend some of the photo etch and resin kits available for the M36 if you are a seasoned armour builder to give it a more unique look.
About Stuart Taylor (Beaver22) FROM: ENGLAND - WEST MIDLANDS, UNITED KINGDOM
Like many, I got back into modelling only recently after a long spell away from the hobby, I started when I was about 13 exclusively building winged things before becoming distracted by other interests; girls beer etc...
However, I am back now with avengance and seriously looking to break into ...